Nick Powell’s move to Stoke City hasn’t been officially announced yet – but Wigan boss Paul Cook has had his say on the prospect of Powell lining up for City next season.

The 25-year-old former Crewe and Manchester United forward is expected to be unveiled by Stoke, joining on a free transfer after coming to the end of his Wigan contract this summer.

As soon as the rumors hit the web, many fans began to express mixed feelings about Powell leaving: “Nick Powell was a great player for Wigan. I really enjoyed watching him. Good luck to him at Stoke. Thanks Nick #wafc.”

“Powell on his day, unplayable. Only problem is we only see that 3-4 times a season. Honestly won’t be missed for me. Good luck to him though #wafc.”

The former Crewe player is also a former Manchester United player and joined Manchester United from Crewe Alexandra on 2 July 2012 in a deal reported to be worth up to £6 million, depending on future success and appearances. He was allocated the number 25 shirt that had been worn by Antonio Valencia, who took the number 7 shirt. It is also the same shirt number that he had worn at Crewe.

The forward was immediately snapped up by then-Manchester United and a glittering top-flight career looked certain. Many question, if it weren’t for the unfortunate series of injuries that hampered progress at Old Trafford, would he still be with the Red Devils and how would he fit them now under Solskjaer? After Mourinho’s sacking, many players like Paul Pogba showed unbelievable form since the shackles came off.

The question is, could the same have been said for Powell? There is a chance he may return to the big leagues as David Artell believes Nick Powell’s switch to Stoke City could be his last shot at returning to the Premier League. Artell has urged Powell, from Haslington, to grasp his opportunity with the Potters and get back to the highest level before he runs out of time. Artell said: “I think it’s a good move for him, but if it’s not his last chance saloon it’s his penultimate chance”.

He also believes that Powell has had a “little sniff” of the big leagues and it is perfectly reasonable that he should be aiming to return to that former position. Ultimately, he’s got to retain good form and remain injury free but his potential shows he is a top class player and Premier League worthy.

Powell has been massively influential for Wigan Athletic this past two seasons. In League One, he was just on another level, scoring 15 goals and assisting at least 100, while looking as if he was playing a training game. Last season didn’t quite go to plan. Injury basically ruined his chance of him running the league. Coincidentally, his best performance last campaign was arguably at Stoke in September and many people suspect that’s when they started scouting him.

According to recent speculation, there could be two major potential replacements for Powell: Henri Lansbury and Lewis Baker. Lansbury is a goal scoring midfielder and very unlikely to stay at Villa, given their promotion. Baker is a player that possesses the ability to turn a game on it’s head and has significant experience in the EFL now after spells at MK Dons, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Reading in recent years.

All in all, letting go of Powell will result in a huge blow and impact on the team but we can’t dwell on it for too long. The club did everything to keep him and although stumbling upon a player the likes of Powell will definitely be difficult, the search is still going strong and hopefully, Wigan Athletic will strike gold soon.

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